Year 7

Evie Almond-Smith has written an outstanding narrative!

The Haunted School

It was a bitterly cold day and I was trembling with fear. Today was the day that I was going to high school. Nervous and overwhelmed, I took one step into the school. The school was huge and as dark as the night. The hallway was lit up with candles and the atmosphere around me was gloomy and scary. There was no colour; well, there was brown from the bricks but that was it. 

My name is Alice and I live in an enormous mansion. My clothes are always smart and neat – they are always expensive. I am as rich as the queen. I love to brag a lot (as you can probably tell!) Oh, and just one more thing – don’t try to be better than me because you’re not.

Anyway, back to the story. As I was on my way to my form room, I took one wrong step and just like that, I was lost. My heart was pounding. 

“Hi, are you lost?” a teacher asked me.

I couldn’t get my words out. “Umm…y..yes,” I stuttered. 

As she guided me to my form room, all eyes were on me. Upon entering my form room, having not even introduced myself, my form tutor gave me a detention for being late. This was going to be a long year!

When break arrived, I told everyone exactly how rich I was and how big my mansion was. For some reason, everyone just glared at me and walked away – I just think that they were jealous. When break ended, I walked inside and heard an extremely loud cry which evolved into a scream. I panicked because I didn’t know what had happened and I ran.

Suddenly, I realised that I had heard that same scream before. It was the same one I had heard on the open day and I remembered it so well. I was walking around the school with my parents and all of a sudden every candle went out. Gripping their hand, I saw the school turn pitch black. As a light shone on this one girl, her feet were lifted off the ground and she started levitating – it was like a scene out of Harry Potter! 

“Ahhgggh!” she yelled. 

THUD! The girl crashed against the floor.

Hearing that same scream made me nervous but I was not going to show it. At lunchtime, people’s food went missing. Lots of people thought it was to do with the open day and I refused to believe it until the tables and chairs started floating. I thought that I was seeing things! Screaming, everyone scrambled to get out of the canteen. 

As soon as I got home, I informed my parents. They simply couldn’t believe it. They soon received an email from the school explaining that it was haunted and that it would be closed down. I never went to that school again. At least I have a massive mansion to stay in whilst I find a new school.

 

Year 8

Alisha Babariya has written a brilliant diary entry from the perspective of Mrs Johnstone in Blood Brothers.

Dear diary, 

Today was awful! Let me tell you all about it! 

It started 7 years ago when I gave one of my sons to Mrs Lyons. I regret it to this day! Deep down though, I know it was probably for the best. I didn’t know wha’ to do, I obviously didn’t wan’ t’ give away one of me sons but I knew that he wouldn’t have the best home here with me. I would never ever want him to go into care which is wha’ I woulda been forced to do. I didn’t exactly have any other choice now, did I? An’ Mrs Lyons made it sound so good! One of the twins in his own big house, no one to fight with, have all his food served to him on a silver tray, wouldn’t have to share with all his siblings and would have not only one but two workin’ wheels on his bike! Two?!

Today, Mickey was complainin’ about how his older brother Sammy gets to do more, how Sammy is much more misbehaved and how he gets away with it. I was already feeling lousy because I knew that it was unfair that Mickey doesn’t get to do the same things as Sammy, but he is younger and it’s only for his own benefit. He can never find out about his twin brother; none of my children can! If they do, I’ll be ruined. They’ll be ruined. Everythin’ will be ruined.

I bet you can never guess what happened next? I was telling Mikey that he shouldn’t go playin’ down the rough end when he innocently informed that that, ‘We’re down at the other end near the big houses in the park.’ I could not believe that I heard that, I wanted to scream and shout, but I knew he would question me, so I tried to tell him off in the best way possible, which wasn’t really the best way possible, seein’ as how mad I was. Can you imagine what he and the whole family would think of me if they found out I practically sold one of my twins?! We would all be ruined. 

I hope tomorrow is better day.

Mrs J

 

Please note: image is copyright of publishers.

Year 9

Khadijah Patel has written a fantastic poem to recap the events of A View from the Bridge.

Catherine excited about her hair
Little did she know what would lair
Underneath what seemed a jolly soul
Appeared to be a man made of cold.

Said no to this and no to that
She only wanted one quick chat
He said she earned what she deserved
Whilst dinner was being served.

Vinny should’ve kept his word
His left his family in the dirt
Whilst Catherine and B said to keep their promise
They were walking on a thin surface.

A knock on the door put them off
Two visitors arrived who both looked rough
Desperately in need of a place to hide
They were both happily welcomed inside.

Let’s watch as the secrets unfold
As no one knows what’s in store
Hidden beneath the uneven ground
People are a treasure that should be found.

 

Year 10

Here is an impressive poetry response by Shahina Adam.

How does Dove present marriage in Cozy Apologia?

At the beginning of the poem, Dove presents marriage as conventional. The quotation “chain mail” shows that her husband is her knight in shining armour. Dove sticks to traditional values instead of how we live in modern society. A reader would feel that it is trying to show women as weak and portray them as people who need saving.

Another way that Dove presents marriage is by showing it to be important and with the right person. The quotation “worthless boys” indicates that her past relationships were ephemeral and that they didn’t mean anything to her. A reader would think that it is true as young relationships do not last long and are therefore a waste of time.

Furthermore, Dove presents marriage by showing how much time they spend together. “We’re content” implies that they are finally settled and have nothing to worry about because they are married and can always be together. A reader would assume that after marriage, you can finally relax.

Lastly, Dove presents marriage as stereotypical. The quotation, “I could choose any hero” suggests that Dove thinks that the gender roles are the same as they were years ago and she still has a traditional mind set. A reader would feel strange because time has drastically changed and women do not need a hero. This links back to the first stanza where Dove presents marriage as conventional. She keeps reminding us about the gender roles and the stereotypical life she lives even though time has moved on.

 

Year 11

Here is a brilliant analysis of the language used in A Christmas Carol. Well done to Saraah Mohmed! 

How does Dickens use language to describe the people and places?

Dickens uses a variety of language to show the living conditions of the poor, as he was a philanthropist, he had a huge interest in human nature and wanting the best for everyone and everything therefore, throughout this extract by showing an Elizabethan audience how people live, it may have influenced them to think wiser and help those who live in conditions where they are unable to live a normal life. 

As we go through the extract, it starts with a key idea of poverty in London as we see a first person account of an experience ‘he traverses streets of dirty, straggling houses’. Immediately, as a reader, we can infer the impoverished areas as even houses are irregular, reflecting the people of London as they are stuck within the social hierarchy and class division between the rich and poor. Furthermore, ‘here and there, a little dark chandler’s shop,’ the use of light imagery and how the shop is ‘dark’ may symbolise how the whole city lives in darkness as hope is no longer there as they live everyday hoping for more. 

As we progress through the extract, ‘as if for support, against some handsome lofty building,’ shows how next to poverty, there are rich areas. Again, this immediately shows the class system and injustice of society. The use of ‘some’ may suggest the ignorance and anonymity of the rich as to the poor they are seen as people with dignity and although equally they are all humans, the rich do not respect the poor nor give them any support. The buildings which ‘support’ other buildings could also reflect how the poor may depend on the rich in order to survive. 

As we get to the end of the extract, Dickens lists many noun phrases of all the problems in society and how there are, ‘dirty men’ and ‘filthy women.’ This connotes the living space in which it is an unsanitary place and so inhumane that it’s a safe place for fleas and other insects to thrive. Furthermore, ‘Reeking pipes, bad fruit’ and ‘attenuated cats, depressed dogs’, suggests how not only families are living in these conditions but so are animals. Also referring to zoomorphism as even humans are living in conditions unsuitable for animals. It also shows how animals’ moods reflect humans as dogs are ‘depressed’.